Let’s get started!
Why we love this activity: Slime! We love slime, we love it so much we made our own DIY slime video, check it out here. Making slime is an unintentional chemistry class allowing kids to explore the effect of different ingredients.
Here’s what you will need:
- 2 cups water
- 3 heaping teaspoons of tapioca flour/tapioca starch
- Wooden spoon
- Heat-safe bowl
- Optional: Food coloring
Combine the water and tapioca in a saucepan and stir until dissolved. Add five drops of food coloring (optional). Notice what happens.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly. You should notice the color change from opaque to transparent. Have children observe these changes from a safe distance.
Reduce heat and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes.
As the mixture starts to thicken, use the spoon to scrape along the bottom and the sides.
When the slime looks ready, pour into your heat-safe bowl and let it cool. Less cook time will produce a more liquid-y slime. Boiling the mixture longer will make it gooier. The mixture will continue to thicken overnight.
No Bake Play Dough
Why we love this activity? It seems like everyone is baking these days and kids want to be in the kitchen. This hands on activity allows kids to make play dough without the possible danger of using the oven. Plus, who doesn’t love play dough. It’s an all-time classic for kids and parents.
Here’s what you will need:
- A large mixing bowl
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups flour
- 2 to 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 1/2 cups salt
- Food coloring (mix them to make different colors)
Have your child pour water into a large mixing bowl.
Ask her what she thinks will happen to the water when the food coloring is added. Now have her add the food coloring. Make sure she stirs the colored water well.
Add the flour and salt to the mix. She should stir it a little to begin blending the ingredients.
Next, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of oil. Add more oil later, if the mix seems too dry. Oil is the secret to keeping this "no cooking required" recipe soft. If you don't add enough oil, the mix will be very crumbly.
Add generous amounts of glitter to the mix. Now, your child can begin mixing everything together. Ask her how the play dough feels — is it soft or hard? Does it feel wet or dry? Does the play dough have a particular smell? Have her knead the ingredients together until a soft dough is formed.
To store the dough, simply roll it into small balls and keep it in plastic bags or a plastic container.
Create Kinetic Sand
Why we love this activity: You can make this activity at home with ingredients you already have. Allow your child to play for hours, ask them to mold the sand into different shapes, this interaction builds their fine motor skills.
What you will need:
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Dishwashing liquid
- Mixing bowl
Help your child mix together two parts baking soda and one part baking powder along with one part of dishwashing liquid in a large bowl.
Have your child stir the mixture with a spoon until a sandy/doughy substance forms. If the powder mixture seems too wet, add baking powder.
Ask your child to knead the mixture together until it feels sandy and dough-like but not wet. Then, ask him if he thinks more baking powder is needed to make it fluffy. (It’s likely he will need to add more.) Ask him to describe the texture. Also, ask if it’s easy or hard to knead the mixture.
(S)he can continue to play with it, which will help develop his fine motor skills.
When they are done, store the mixture in a sealed plastic container.
A special thank you to PBS kids for the activities above. Check out their website for additional activities and resources.